Dispelling Myths about the Point Loma High Class of 1966

by on September 20, 2016 · 5 comments

in California, Culture, Education, History, Ocean Beach


At the podium, L to R – John Davis, Chrissie Pendleton Brannen, the author, Alison deRosa.

The following are remarks by Frank Gormlie from the podium at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Point Loma High School Class of 1966, held recently at an undisclosed location off of Point Loma.

By Frank Gormlie

Tonight we’re here to dispel all those myths and rumors that have circulated and existed for half a century – myths about our favorite class – Class of 66 – our school, our teachers and classmates.

First, we want to dispel the rumor that our class created a fake student by the name of “Mike Hall” in a science homeroom run by those team teachers –  Mr. Mills Millstone and Mr. Shank – this did not happen.

And it’s also not true, that our classmates filled out all the paperwork for this fictitious Mike Hall – you remember all those multi-colored forms at the beginning of each semester – filled them all out – not true – for an entire year.

And it’s not true that every time one of those green message notes from the Main Office came for Mike Hall — Mr Millstone became increasingly irritated until he would literally yell at the messenger while throwing the green note at them.   Not true.

And it’s equally not true that one of our classmates sat in for Mike Hall during the photos for the annual year book. Not true – go to the page where there should be a Mike Hall and you won’t find Mike Hall there (you might find Mike Abbey).

Another big, big myth and rumor that has existed for half a century – you all remember – or most of you remember – Prom Night with the formals, the corsages, the tuxes – and then the After-Prom bowling and dancing … there’s been a rumor that for Prom Night in June 1966 our classmates rented out 6 motels in Mission Valley – this is definitely not true – It was ONLY ONE MOTEL – Motel 6.

And it wasn’t even the entire Motel 6 – JUST half a dozen rooms or so. ….

One of the myths that surrounded this dastardly rumor was that someone brought a large fish aquarium to one of the rooms rented out and it was filled with alcohol. Not true – It was just a bathtub. Just one bathtub filled with gin, grape wine, whatever.

Another myth about this – was that the Model 6 was raided by the Swat Team of SDPD – not true  – the Swat Team didn’t exist yet. And it was only a couple of squad cars.

The last rumor about this nasty incident that no one remembers is that a whole rank of student leaders who were involved in renting out the rooms at the Motel 6 were hauled into the principal’s office the very next day.

Not true, and it’s equally not true that the day those student leaders were hauled into the principal’s office was the same day as the nighttime Student Awards Ceremony where those same student leaders had to face the principal during the ceremony. Not true.

Another rumor that circulated – particularly among school administrators – was that there was a communist conspiracy made up of a bunch of guys who wore Blue Bandanas – and they were plotting to take over the world and force everyone to wear blue bandanas.

This was not true – it was just a bunch of surfers who wore blue bandanas to high school football games . Your classmates.

Speaking about surfers – Our Class Had the Best Surfers – classmates who had been surfing since the early Sixties  — and our classmates invented surfing in fact. And this is not a myth.

Another HUGE myth was that our class was a bunch of pot-heads! This is just not true – Not at all – only a handful of our classmates had tried pot or hash in high school – the rest of us tried it in college. We were goodie-goodies.

The pot-heads were the Class of 1967 – they all smoked pot. How do I know? I married a woman from that class – and boy, did she smoke pot.

But it was the Grass … uh, Class of 1968 – who put the “Pot” in Pot Loma. A whole bunch of those guys used to smoke pot before school behind the church across the street – and one day a whole bunch of squad cars arrived – Big Scandal – Pot Loma.

But that wasn’t us, the Class of 66. Nossirre – we didn’t smoke pot – we were big boozers – we drank beer, cheap wine, homemade alcohol, cheap gin and vodka, you name it, we’d drink it.

And did you know that if you combined store-bought lemon extract with a 7-Up, you got a potent drink, potent but nasty.

But there is another rumor here that must be distilled, or rather dispelled. There has been this rumor that one of our classmates actually ran a STILL out of his student locker. Can you imagine spreading a rumor like that about us, – Class of 66. This is not true.

And it’s not true that it’s myths like these that forced future generations of high school students to go without lockers.

But didn’t we have some great teachers at Point Loma – really great teachers, who helped us become mature adults ready to face a complicated and changing world .

There’s too many great teachers to name – we all have our favorites.

Yet there are some myths around some of our favorite teachers.

There’s this one myth about our class – that we must dispel right now – and the myth was that our class spread a Rumor about two of our teachers, an English teacher and a History teacher – that they were having an Affair. This is not true –

It wasn’t our class – it was the Class of 67  – again.

And it’s not true either that the 2 teachers rumored to be having an affair were busted, and one of them got a divorce and the other was transferred to a new high school.

Our devoted and excellent Class of 66 had nothing to do with any of all that.

Another rumor was that a physics homeroom class bought the retiring teacher an engraved spittoon. Not true.

Another rumor was that a certain history teacher would once a month, take one of the girls into the cloak room, give her a flower and then have her kiss his cheek. Not true.

Another nasty rumor was that a certain drafting teacher who also was a coach – when his birthday came up, the students would all chip in and buy him a bar of soap. Not true.

Our old alma mater – our old Point Loma High – remember those old great buildings that were torn down?

Do you remember the great views from the 3rd floor. On the east side you could look out and see white snow in the mountains, than cross the hall, and see the white of breaking surf.

Remember the windows without screens up on the 3rd floor? Did you know you could smoke a cigarette by hanging your hand out the window with the cig, and the teacher wouldn’t even know. Hey, our class didn’t do that – That was the Class of 65.

And you remember the jets taking off – every 3 seconds – it’s a wonder we learned anything.

Remember going into the bathrooms and they’d be filled with tobacco smoke? That wasn’t our class either smoking in the bathrooms – that was Class of 65, the Class of 67 and the Class of 68. Not us.

We were the greatest class! The Class of 66!


Frank Gormlie, Patty Jones, Steve and Jan Zivolich – at the 50th.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

ANDRA LOO September 20, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Frank – I didn’t know that we were both members of the great class of 1966 – you at Pt. Loma and me at San Diego HS. Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to my 50th Reunion next month. BTW – great high show picture you previously posted.
Andra Loo


Frank Gormlie September 20, 2016 at 8:52 pm

Ya gotta go! It will be amazing!


ANDRA LOO September 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Oops! It should say “great high school picture”


Rufus September 21, 2016 at 6:17 am

I remember the pot bust in the Christian Science church parking lot! I was 13. Whenever we drove past PLHS with my grandparents, they’d always point out where the bust went down. “Don’t smoke pot or the cops will take you to jail!”

And I lived next door to Mr and Mrs Shank on Narragansett for 25 years untill they passed away. I can’t imagine anybody punking Mr Shank and getting away with it!


Chuck Marlow September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Thanks for everyone’s work in putting together our 50th. I really enjoyed seeing all. Hope to make it to the next one.


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